Published Author – the feeling of having my name prefixed before these two words still hasn’t sunk in. I highly doubt that it ever will. I thank my lucky stars every night for giving me the opportunity to convert my dreams into reality.
"Slowly, I discovered the unexplored crevices of my own mind"
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I started blogging when I was 16 and I had become a full-fledged content writer at 18. And now, at 21, I have published a book. I don’t think it can get better than this. The journey from a writer to an author was an arduous one undoubtedly, but the end result is immensely gratifying. It almost seems like I’ve physically put a part of my heart and soul onto paper and sent it out to the world for judgement – It’s frightening, but at the same time exhilarating. I owe all of this to my family and my mentor.
My mentor, Mr. Hemant Kumar, head of the Delhi based publishing house, Quill Club Writers has been my guiding light along the way. I could call him up any time of the day and ask him a question about anything under the sun- he always had an answer. Looking back, it is surprising to think that he had the will and patience to guide such restless young minds through the crooked maze called story-writing. He always said, "Writing is hard; Were it easy, it would be called something else- rock-climbing, sky-diving or para-gliding, perhaps."
Earlier, I thought he was overstating it, but as I begun to write, I realised that he was right. The blank screen staring back at me became my worst enemy. As I wrote the first draft I reminded myself that I am simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build it into castles. There were times when I doubted myself, when I was scared that I would wake up one day and the words would just stop. But my mentor’s guidance and support kept me going. Slowly, I discovered the unexplored crevices of my own mind. A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself the things he would be unable to discover otherwise. In a way, I learnt more about myself through the process of writing this book.
After a lot of revision, came the second draft; then the third, fourth, fifth and after numerous times of editing and proof-reading came the final sixth one. The function of the first draft is to help you figure out the story. The function of every draft after that is to figure out the most dramatic way to tell that story.
I got from the first to the final draft through editing, the hardest part of story writing. Every word struck from paper felt like a gash on my heart. After two months of writing and eight months of staggering editing, I finally had the physical copy of the book in my hand. No feeling can match the rush of emotions I felt when I opened the book and saw the words and sentences I had so carefully crafted, alive.
My story is about the millions of innocents who are caught in the crossfire during wars. In particular, it is about the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Every person in the war- be it the antagonist or the protagonist has a reason to be there. A reason- which they feel is right. A reason- which they believe is worth fighting and dying for. A war doesn’t determine who is right; only who is left. Through the eyes of my characters, I have lived and felt the pain of the masses caught in the dystopia called war, and it has scarred me forever. But, given a chance, I would do it all over again.
I wanted to do my part in an effort to help the refugees, hence the book, Primary Colours was born. It isn’t wrong what they say- a pen, is always mightier than the sword.
If you are reading this and if you have a fire burning in you to write, to create, don’t let anything or anyone stop you. There will be times when the shadow of doubt is darker than ever, but that is nothing that the light of wisdom cannot conquer. Also, engineering and writing mix. Some of the best anecdotes and character inspirations I’ve got are from my engineering life. Experience everything; stop at nothing.
Finally, I have only one thing to say to you, reader:
Never take a writer for granted, they are snipers armed with words. They know how to take aim with sentences, how to fire with paragraphs and how to immortalize their kills in verse.